I had this thought a couple of weeks ago: could I see all of the Berlin football teams before the end of the season? There are eleven teams in the top five tiers of German football. The sixth tier of German football is very regionalised, and the regional league here is simply the Berlin-Liga. That’s got 18 teams. Time and will mean that including the sixth tier isn’t gonna happen before the end of the season. Even eleven teams is quite ambitious really innit? Here’s what we’re looking at:
1. Bundesliga (top tier):
2. Bundesliga (second tier):
1. FC Union Berlin
3. Bundesliga (third tier):
Regionalliga Nordost (fourth tier):
Berliner AK 07
Berliner FC Dynamo
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin
Hertha BSC II
Oberliga Nord (fifth tier):
Tennis Borussia Berlin
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf
CFC Hertha 06
SV Lichtenberg 47
(You will notice the word “Hertha” crops up four times. Only two of those are related: Hertha BSC and Hertha BSC II, who are big team and reserve team respectively. Hertha 03 and CFC Hertha 06 are not related to big Hertha or, indeed, each other.)
Last month, I went to see Hertha BSC v. Eintracht Frankfurt at the Olympiastadion.
Final score: 2-0
Ticket price: €31.00
Obviously, the Olympiastadion is pretty massive. I always liked this building. I went several times before the renovations where the 1936-ness was a bit more obvious. Hertha is my Berlin team by default more than anything. I just went there to watch games in a cool stadium and, y’know, you end up rooting for them. One noteable good thing about having a ticket for a Hertha game: the match ticket included public transport, so no need to spend €5.60 on a ticket there and back.
I started properly thinking about the eleven-team project on Saturday morning. I went through the schedules of the remaining ten teams and made a chronological list of fixtures. And there was a game that afternoon, so I went to see FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v. 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig at the Stadion Lichterfelde.
Final score: 3-3
Ticket price: €10.00
Beer price: €2.50
Something I became immediately aware of, that I’d not really thought of, was how I would actually be seeing parts of the city I’ve never been to before, to U- and S-Bahn stations I’ve not used. Viktoria’s stadium is in the southwest, just a couple of stops away from the edge of the city. Just the one small stand here, but the crowd were loud, and it was pretty cool, and it was a good game. They were 2-0 up, but by half time it was 2-2. Viktoria retook the lead, but with 10 men on the field, due to having made all their changes before their keeper got injured, Leipzig equalised in stoppage time.
The Leipzig coach was wearing jeans.
Off topic, I do enjoy embassy buildings. Especially ones that aren’t grand and all look-at-me. This is the Ethiopian one, just a couple of streets away from the stadium, on a normal suburban street. It’s nice, that feeling of, oh look, a little piece of another country is right here next to Uncle Florian’s house.
Sunday afternoon, again trekking out to the West. This time to see a local derby: FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v. SV Lichtenberg 47 at the Ernst-Reuter-Stadion.
Final score: 1-6
Ticket price: €8.00
Beer price: €2.50
First noteworthy thing, the local U-Bahn station is call Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
When I left the station, I didn’t see a local map near the entrance, so just outside, I was looking around for a street sign, and an old fella saw me and pointed left. I asked him what is to the left? He said, you’re going to see Hertha Null Drei? Yep. He gave me full directions, seemed mildly surprised that a foreigner was going to see a fifth tier team, and we wished each other a good day. Amidst a few other sports fields was one with a small terrace on one side and a small covered stand on the other. Obviously, 147 is quite a small crowd, and maybe it was the drubbing the locals were given, but the more vocal fans of the visiting team seemed to make up about half of the attendance.
This was the teenage club of former Liverpool (and Bayern München, AC Milan, and Spurs) player Christian Ziege.
It was a grim rainy afternoon. More so for the Hertha 03 players, I suspect. 2-0 down at half time, they came out for the second half pumping themselves up ready to rock. 25 seconds after the kick off, it was 0-3.
Here the highlights on YouTube.
So, three teams down (four, if I view it as a smaller, more manageable plan of simply seeing the teams rather than visiting their stadiums). There are a couple of games this week, gonna make an effort to go to at least one of them.
A wee bit of artwork
This is the entrance to the Olympia-Stadion U-Bahn station. Done with a mix of pencil and watercolour, and some parts done with my stronger left hand, some parts with my weaker right. And yep, three months into the year and I wrote down the wrong year.
I wonder what it’s like to do a job where you pretty much annoy people all the time. I’ve often felt bad for traffic wardens. It’s not their fault that you parked your car where you weren’t supposed to, or can’t tell the time. Aaah, but they’re vindictive bastards you will say, which a) I doubt, and b) could you blame them, really? They get shouted at by strangers for just doing their job. Anyway, in this building, for the last week and a half, there’ve been some workmen working on the stairs. Taking off battered covering and the metal edges of the steps, generally tidying shit up. It’s quite loud work, especially when they do it on your floor. I’m actively trying to keep myself un-phased by this. And, whaddayaknow? It’s nicer to not get angry about it.
The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Only You by Yazoo
On this day
Inselaffen, 20 March 2008
Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article